A storm is brewing ... a story.
Let’s imagine it is the year 2067 (there is a chance that I might still be alive). Our beaches, estuaries and preserves have become designated “hazard areas” due to the perpetual “red tide.” A visit to the beach for a sunset stroll would be risky for your health.
You, as an adult, would be in danger of mild coughing, maybe worse, but your 10-year-old son goes into a seizure. Dead, washed-up fish cover the beaches, exposing tourist and beachgoers to the effects of respiratory distress, among other symptoms, but not once in a while — all the time. The new “norm.”
The FDA has designated all seafood that comes from Tampa Bay waters not safe for consumption. Why? Well, it’s wise to avoid situations where you are susceptible to developing hepatitis. Chronic exposure to hepatitis, not good.
The $80-$100 million that local fisherman are able to generate annually from local fisheries is now worthless. Tourists avoid visiting our local beaches, due to the fact that the air has become dangerous to breathe. Solution? Respirator masks. Local hotels and restaurants have closed due to hemorrhaging of revenue.
Yet, Mosaic is doing just fine.
Local fish populations have been decimated due to massive fish kills over period of time. What causes these fish kills? Angry algae. Because algae might not be happy swimming in a solution of nitrogen and phosphorus?
Just recently I found a glass bottle bobbing in the water at Bradenton Beach. The bottle had been sealed, and clearly there was a rolled-up piece of paper inside. It was a message: “Protect yourself, Tampa Bay, don’t become like us.” — The Great Lakes.
You know what’s even worse than 400 dead zones? 401 dead zones. I have done some stand-up comedy in my life. This is not meant to be a joke.
Thomas Troxler Jr.